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Posts with tag heroics

Proving Grounds will not solve the real problem

Olivia Grace wrote an excellent post last week about the upcoming change that will link a silver performance in Proving Grounds to the ability to queue for heroic dungeons. You should definitely go read it, because I cheerfully cede to her points. It's not hard to get silver in proving grounds. Linking a silver performance to heroic dungeons will allow them to make heroics more challenging. These are all good things.

Now I'm going to say something - the biggest problem in heroics isn't players who don't know what they're doing. It's players who do. Specifically, it's skilled and geared players who massively, massively out-gear said heroics and want to ignore the mechanics and chain pull every mob in the place, players who are completely inconsiderate of the other players in their group. Players who are skilled, but who let their fevered egocentric natures run wild, hurling insults at lesser geared players for 'not keeping up.' Players who make the dungeon an unpleasant festival of wipes because they refuse to understand that some of the people in the dungeon are only just geared enough to be there, and can't heal through thirty mobs hitting them at once or kill those thirty mobs fast enough.

It's players who have a really well geared main, but come to the Scarlet Monastery Cathedral on their brand new monk and refuse to understand that they're not nearly as powerful now. It's not skill, it's attitude.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Are low-level dungeons too easy?

Are lowlevel dungeons too easy
Taepsilum went on today a little bit about an assertion that low level dungeons are too easy. This position is one that many experienced players can likely sympathize with, particularly those who have alts climbing through the levels with full heirlooms and considerable player knowledge behind them.

For players in that position, yes, low-level dungeons are too easy. But, as Taepsilum points out, players with years of WoW under their belts ought to turn back the clock, to let the Ghost of Azeroth Past take them on a journey through time to their first ever dungeon. Hopefully they weren't as foolish as your writer, and didn't select tank without really realizing what it meant. The low-level dungeons have, at least to some extent, to cater to players who have never been in a dungeon before.

And, of course, for the lower levels, dungeon leveling has to contribute an equivalent amount of XP per hour to questing, or nobody would ever go into dungeons at all. But, as another poster in the same thread commented, perhaps it would be possible to open up heroic difficulties of dungeons at lower level to players who wanted a challenge?

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

A brief history of reputation in WoW

A brief history of reputation and WoW
In the early days of vanilla WoW, I had a friend who spent hours upon hours killing ghosts near and around Karazhan. This was odd, to say the least, considering there was absolutely nothing to do in that area at that point and time in the game. I asked him what exactly he was doing, and he said he was collecting Scourgestones. Apparently, the ghosts in the area inexplicably gave reputation for the Argent Dawn. Bewildered, I asked him why he was doing so. The Argent Dawn didn't offer any real rewards at that point.

"Because it's there," he replied. "I like seeing the bars go green. I want to make them all green."

For him, I suppose, it was enough. I understand his fascination more these days, as I make it a point to max out every reputation I have at exalted because I can't stand to see a bar that isn't fully green. Call it vaguely OCD if you will, but if I'm going to go exalted, I'll make sure it's 999/999.

These days, WoW offers a heck of a lot more options for filling up that little green bar -- but where did it all begin?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: All heroics open for testing

Mists of Pandaria Beta All heroics open for testing
All of the Mists of Pandaria heroic dungeons are available for testing in the beta. While they are not easily accessed in the Dungeon Finder because of an extra-high gear level requirement, you can still test the heroic of your choice by entering it through the front door.

Blizzard has planned two changes to help players get into the heroics via the Dungeon Finder:
  1. A higher level will be able to be simulated.
  2. The gear level of 440 will be lowered via a hotfix.
The full text of Daelo's post is below.


Daelo
Currently for a player to enter into a Heroic Dungeon through the Dungeon Finder system requires an item level of 440. Currently, this is a more difficult bar to clear in the beta that it will be in the final live game.

We're going to work towards hotfixing that value down, but at the same time use some new magic we have to simulate a higher level. When that change gets applied, I'll edit this thread with the news.

In the meantime, you can actually go old school to test the dungeons. Form a group, then head in through the entrance!

I'm making feedback threads for them all, since they're all open.



It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Should Blizzard leave heroic encounter difficulty alone?

When the Raid Finder was first introduced, I had high hopes for its impact on the game. While the main reason behind the implementation of this system was arguably to get as many players experiencing raid content as possible, at the time, I was more interested in the impact it would have on the progression races between all of the top guilds in the world. I have always had a great deal of admiration for players in these types of guilds and have watched intently during each new tier as they all vied for world firsts. I believed the Raid Finder could benefit this type of competition by preventing heroic encounters from being nerfed while the content was still current. Surely, I thought, if so many people are able to experience raiding like never before through this new tool, Blizzard would have no pressing reason to make heroic encounters any easier.

Well, it seems I was wrong, for in the very next tier of content Blizzard released, we saw progressive nerfs to these difficult fights. Personally, I prefer to keep these encounters the way they are, at least until a new tier is released. Something just feels wrong to see the hardest fights available made easier through a series of hotfixes. Even with respect to my own guild's progression, having sweeping nerfs hit Firelands just as my guild was putting in some really good attempts on Ragnaros felt like Blizzard moved the finish line, taking what would have been a very gratifying kill and turning it into an accidental one-shot that contained none of the catharsis we had felt during previous boss kills.

What do you think? With the Raid Finder now a reality and a new expansion looming on the horizon, do you think the difficulty of heroic raid encounters should be static, like those from tier 11, or should they be more flexible?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Achievements, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Optional boss modes making a comeback in Mists of Pandaria?

Kaivax hit the forums to answer a player's question about Ulduar and talk about the fondness the dungeon has retained amongst the playerbase and where the optional boss modes have gone. Back during the first half of Wrath of the Lich King, "choose your own difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers were staples of the encounters in Ulduar and the Obsidian Sanctum. When Trial of the Crusader launched, Blizzard implemented the UI-based difficulty toggle. Players have expressed desire to return to the old days, feeling that the toggle method is just too robotic when encounters could be designed around cool difficulty-swap mechanics. In his post, Kaivax hints that the design teams are thinking about bringing back these mechanics for some fights in the upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

Rather than selecting a normal or hard mode toggle before pulling an encounter, Ulduar raid groups were tasked with completing different objectives during the encounter or defeating the boss mechanics in a different order to activate hard mode. Famously, players would press a large red button behind Mimiron labelled "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON," activating the encounter and a rather angry Titanic watcher. Other fights during Wrath of the Lich King such as Freya and Sartharion featured a "choose your own difficulty" mechanic wherein the player's choices before the encounter increased or decreased the boss' overall difficulty. Harder combinations of abilities would yield more impressive items.

Will Mists of Pandaria bring back our beloved "choose your difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers? I know I'd like to get another Sartharion-style encounter, especially with mount rewards like the original provided.

Read the full blue post behind the break below.

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Filed under: Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria

5 ways to keep your healer happy in 5-man heroics

While much of Azeroth has been busy engineering the repeated demise of the big Dee-Dubya, many of us are still running 5-man dungeons. Maybe it's for valor points, maybe it's to hit the ilevel required to take a pop at that dragon, or maybe it's while frantically levelling another character to 85. With every 5-man instance comes a healer, and you really ought to be showing your healer some love.

Before you say Pah! I don't need to do anything to keep my healer happy -- I massively outgear all the 5-man content the game has to offer. This advice is worthless!, spare a thought for those who don't. The new healer who wants to get a look at some Hour of Twilight. The player with bags overflowing with PvP gear to cheat the ilevel requirement. The fresh 85s who are facing these dungeons for the first time. They need this advice, and if you're running with them, you could consider reading it too. And if you think it's not your responsibility to help your healer out now and then, remember: You don't do any DPS when you're dead.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Are heroics really heroic?

Uh-oh, it's semantics time again, combined with a trip to the way-back machine, even! I still have nightmares about heroics back in The Burning Crusade when they were first introduced. In order to even get into heroic dungeons, you needed a key, and to get that key, you needed a certain amount of faction reputation. When The Burning Crusade launched, you needed to be revered to get a key; this was later reduced to honored. Needless to say, it took a very long time before anyone could step into heroic modes -- and they were difficult, to say the very least.

Trash respawn timers were tight. If you were lucky, you could get to the first boss before the trash started to respawn on you, and if you wiped on the first boss, you got to enjoy the experience of clearing all that trash all over again. Bosses were incredibly difficult, as well -- healing was an absolute nightmare. These days, in comparison, heroics are ridiculously easy. No, I am not kidding you. They are a breeze compared to the early days of The Burning Crusade. You don't have to work to get into them other than obtaining the appropriate gear, and once you're inside, the bosses aren't that much of a struggle.

So that leads to the question we were pondering in work chat -- are heroics these days really heroic? Sure, the items you get from the dungeons are better than your normal dungeon gear, but the difficulty of the dungeons isn't really ramped up anywhere near the extreme that we saw in The Burning Crusade. To me, heroic mode still equates to that antiquated BC model, where heroic meant hard mode, and hard mode meant You will want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork three pulls into the place.

There is something to be said about the sheer relief and sense of accomplishment you got when you cleared one of those old dungeons; you really felt like you'd done something great and played to the best of your ability. In Mists, we're looking at an endgame that doesn't even have normal mode dungeons -- at level 90, you simply leap into heroics. My question is whether or not the term "heroic" even has meaning at this point. We've gone from hard mode and a rep grind, to a slightly less severe rep grind, to not needing a key at all, to heroics you can simply AoE through without having to think too terribly hard about any given thing.

Should heroics still be called heroics? Or are they simply regular dungeons that give better loot, now? What do you think?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

BlizzCon 2011: Heroic Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery redesign

scholomance interior
One of the most exciting things last year was the announcement that in the Cataclysm expansion there would be a redesign of classic dungeons into new heroic modes for level 85. Shadowfang Keep and The Deadmines got quite a face lift including new layouts, new boss mechanics and in some cases entirely new bosses. The redesign was quite successful, and the new instances were fun and fresh and breathed new life into content that had previously been considered stale.

With the announcement of the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria, there was a very exciting announcement that we will be receiving three new heroic dungeons as redesigns. These rediscovered zones are Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery. Both are iconic instances and most players have some fond (or not so fond) memories there.. During the Dungeon and Raids panel we received a few bits of information about each of these revamps. Join us after the break for details.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: How do you dodge certain guildmates for heroics?

Troll dungeons
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Heroics. They're a staple of nearly every player's in-game routine. Whether gearing up your first level 85 toon or simply grinding away toward the weekly valor and justice point caps, we all need to find a group.

In The Burning Crusade and even early Wrath of the Lich King, the trade channel or other in-game communication channels were used to advertise your needs. Looking for healer, looking for tank -- or even, in the good old days, looking for CC. Players would develop a reputation on their server as being good or bad players, and this could vastly impact the ease with which they were able to find other players willing to partner with them. In many ways, this was a good thing. It encouraged players to be civil to one another and to learn their roles, if they wanted to find groups regularly.

However, that is the past. The random Dungeon Finder, for good or for ill, has drastically changed the way we go about finding groups for instances. Viewed by many as a deep pit full of gogogo DPSers, healers with nonexistent mana pools, and tanks who are using DPS specs, the era of being known for your skill is over. Or is it?

Many people say, "I don't do PUGs. I run with my guildmates." This is fine, but it can lead to problems. For example, what do you do when you have a guildmate who is enthusiastic about running heroics, but you know that player is just going to make your run take twice as long or ruin the enjoyment with their inept ways?

Do you whisper skilled guildmates individually? Do you simply resort to the random Dungeon Finder instead? Is it right to exclude not just another player but a guildmate in the first place?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Cross-realm Dungeon Finder premium service coming soon

Blizzard has just announced a premium cross-realm Dungeon Finder feature, allowing players from the same faction to invite Real ID friends from different servers into 5-man regular and heroic dungeons. The popularity of the Dungeon Finder is well-known at this point, and expounding on the feature has been in the cards according to Blizzard for some time now.

This new feature will be part of a premium package of WoW features requiring an extra fee to use. Blizzard says that only the person doing the invites and creating the cross-server party will need to have access to the premium feature for the system to work. Currently, there is no release date, and the service is being described as a complex one to develop. Blizzard is most likely getting out in front of the news sites and datamining sites now, since pieces of this new system will begin to hit the PTR soon and Blizzard doesn't want too much speculation.

I personally think that this system is really cool for players who have an already-established friends base on other servers but don't want to leave their current home or don't have the money to do so and pay for a premium server transfer. For instance, Sacco and I can finally run some dungeons together. You hear that, Sacco? It's dungeon time.

Premium services always receive some type of backlash in the WoW community, and this one will be no different, so for caution's sake, let's wait until pricing information is officially announced before we explode with indignation. This is, however, a feature that many players have been asking for and will be very popular.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Ol' Grumpy's first week with Patch 4.1

Hi, kids. It's me, Ol' Grumpy. You may remember me from my guide to Cataclysm instance protocols or perhaps from when I explained that you'd have to relearn some old bad habits from the previous expansion.

This time, I'm here to explain how to adjust to the new realities of patch 4.1, our two new heroic instances Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, and our Call to Arms feature in the dungeon finder. I've noticed some weeping, some wailing, and some gnashing of teeth over these new introductions with the passing of our first week with patch 4.1, and I'm here to help.

First off, calm down already. The Call to Arms feature didn't trap you in a deserted old house outside of town and murder everyone from the camp but you and that cute guy you've always liked from the other camp. It didn't steal your dog, kick your car, or write nasty things about your ma and pa on the back of the barn, either. And while both ZA and ZG provide more challenge than the previous tier of heroics, they didn't steal your cattle or set your grave on fire, either. In short, the level of consternation and yes, even whining about this has been entirely over the top. These instances are puggable with a little luck and some work, and CTA has shortened queue times, which was its only real goal.

So what should you do? Well, being an irascible old curmudgeon, I will happily tell you what to do. Especially if it keeps you off of my lawn. My wife just planted roses! Stay off!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: The first things your mage should do after patch 4.1 drops

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we'll be discussing the sparkliest ways to blow things up. Turns out there are a lot them.

Let me begin by saying that as of this writing, we don't know for sure when the patch will actually drop. What we do know, however, is that the build that's on the PTR right now is flagged as a possible release candidate build, meaning it could be the final build of the patch. That usually means the release of the patch is imminent. It may not happen this week or next (we can sometimes go through several "release candidate" builds before Blizzard finally drops the thing), but my guess is that it totally will.

So when the patch does hit, whenever that may be, what are you going to do first? You know, besides go hunting for warlocks to stuff and mount on your wall? I find it's good to have a plan when new content drops. Otherwise, I just end up only hunting warlocks, which -- while awesome -- doesn't really involve any of the new content.

So what to do? Fear not, I've compiled a handy list of the new features that apply directly to mages so you'll have something to channel your arcane energies toward once all the warlocks are dead.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Breakfast Topic: Which Cataclysm heroic do you dread seeing on your loading screen?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Since every instance in Cataclysm has its own load screen, players know where they are going before they ever set foot in the instance. Some instances are harder than others. Some have awful trash. Some have boss fights that require lots of moving, and some have tons of ambient group damage. Depending on your role, which instance you want to see come up as your random probably changes. Some have that one piece of gear you need or that achievement you really would love to get; others make you feel disheartened as soon as the loading screen pops up.

I currently have two 85s; my main is a tank, and my alt is a hunter. While tanking anything but Stonecore, I am fairly happy. I hate the initial few pulls in Stonecore with Milhouse Manastorm and those damn guys that turn into rock elementals and have that disgusting AoE so much, and the trash pulls with the sentries later on also suck. My tank just runs the one heroic a day for the points so I can get my last piece of tier for feral and start picking up some of the moonkin off-spec pieces, so if I get Vortex Pinnacle every day and just blow through it, all the better.

On the other hand, with my hunter, every time I see The Deadmines I am actually happy. I still need the axe and bracers. Also, my hunter hasn't been 85 very long, so justice points are still useful to me.

What heroics do you hate to see pop up? What makes you hate this particular instance? Which are you actually happy to see?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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